Friday, January 30, 2009

Feeling Better - Birding

Turkey Vulture

I walked outside yesterday.... I just need some sunshine and fresh air. I looked up and a Turkey Vulture was flying overhead. I was beginning to think he was circling for me. Today I feel that there really is hope that I might live :-)) I'm feeling much better.

I spent most of last night in bed. I got up several times coughing and came to my recliner at about 5 am. I got up and made coffee at about 7am. I could actually smell and taste coffee this morning. Frank is making chicken & rice today and it smells great!

I thought dressing would make me feel better yesterday, but I think that I felt cozier when I was wearing my pajamas. I don't think I'll get out of these flannel pjs until after lunch... then maybe I'll dress and walk around the yard... split the difference today.

I took the picture above a long time ago with my Sony f717. I think now with my Sony Alpha 700 and 300 mm lens that I could get a better picture.... but maybe not.. I'm just not very good at taking pictures of birds. I remember someone asking what camera I use and don't think I answered that question. I also have a Sony pocket-size camera model P200.

So I have three cameras. It started off being Sony brand because we have a Sony video camera and the Sony f717 uses the same battery and such.... so shared items. Then the Sony f717 had to be repaired... a free repair. While it was off being repaired I bought the Sony P2o0 because it was marked down and it would use the same memory stick as the other Sony camera and it was pocket-size. Then comes the Alpha 70o. I decided on it because Frank has a Minolta film camera. Lenses and external flashes could be shared. It's the domino effect ;-)

I hope one day to get better at taking bird pictures. It will just take practice and so many things have happened with my body since I got the Alpha 700 and I have not been able to do a lot of practice. Birds see the camera in my hand and they hide :-( I won't get discouraged though.

The picture below was taken with my Alpha 700 camera... not long after I got the camera. I was trying different settings with my camera and this style is called Neutral. I wish I had the camera set on normal settings, but the little flycatcher only gave me this one shot... so no time to change settings.

The flycatcher is an Ash-Throated Flycatcher and it is unusual to see them in our area. I had trouble IDing the flycatcher, so someone suggested to call the local Audubon Society. They did help me with the ID, but it turned out to be a mistake in calling them... I'll let you look at the bird before I tell the rest of the story.

Ash-Throated Flycatcher

The picture was taken on my parents' old homestead. For further ID the person that ID the bird for certain wanted to take a personal look at the bird. We had something going on and couldn't meet the person down there, but gave him directions.

After his visit he wanted other members of the Audubon Society to see the bird since it was so unusual. For some reason I couldn't go, but Frank had work to do down there and met them.

One of the birders was former Lt. Governor of Georgia, Pierre Howard. Frank said that he was just really a nice person. He sent us a very nice thank you card.

Frank warned the birders that there are rattle snakes down there and sink holes and things hidden in the leaves to stumble over and to be careful (this was the end of February last year). Frank said that I should have seen those crazy birders running after that little bird trying to get pictures. After Frank's warnings the birders were not looking where they where walking and running. Fortunately no one hurt themselves, but we decided that it was just too dangerous to allow them to continue to come.... so we put a stop to it. I was also feeling sorry for the poor little bird too.... who would want to be chased around like that and by a lot people (well a half dozen or more would be a lot to me). One birder even played a recording of the bird's mating call to get its attention.... just cruel!

Our neighbor said that for a couple of more weeks that people came and lined the edge of his property with cameras with long lenses chasing that bird from a distance. Amazing what a stir a little bird can make.

A couple more of the birders sent us thank you cards and one sent us a framed picture that she had taken of the bird.

If ever I see this little bird on the property again... or another bird that I can't ID... I will keep my mouth shut. It is just not worth it worrying if someone is going to get hurt or worrying if the bird will survive the stress.

I would love to be great at taking bird pictures... like my friend Didi . She is just super at it... my favorite are her hummingbird pictures.


Have you ever observed a humming-bird moving about in an aerial dance among the flowers - a living prismatic gem.... it is a creature of such fairy-like loveliness as to mock all description. -- W.H. Hudson, Green Mansions



  1. Glad you are feeling a little better. Your vulture shot is great and the little bird is beautiful.

  2. I'm really glad you're feeling better. That bird looks like one that we get when it snows. Except it doesn't look as fat. =D

    love, Joy =D

  3. Your photos are great. I am like you too hard on my self. It turns out the great photos we so love are edited. And enhanced with software. Or at least cropped to make the photo seem closer. I am like you too. I bought the Sony a200 because I had a Minolta 35 mm. And have the lenses to interchange. I found I had to turn camera onto manual and focus at 300 mm. As it never would do it on auto. That is how I got the lamppost in my red sky photo. We just need to learn more. Of course I have never opened the book and read it. lol.

  4. Your bird photos are great, Zaroga! I love watching birds in my backyard. This is my second winter having feeders.

    I agree with you about the difficulty of taking their picture. Our patio is a second story deck, so it is almost impossible, once you spot the bird, to get it's picture without it taking flight.

    But I still enjoy seeing what little guys are stopping by for a meal:)

    Thanks for stopping by and visiting me:)

    Have a great weekend!

    Linda C

  5. Zaroga,

    That flycatcher photo is just awesome, Zaroga! You are talented with the camera. I need to learn more about mine. I have a Nikon D40X, and I love photography but I haven't used it to its potential.

    Have a great weekend!

  6. I'm glad to hear that you are feeling better. Sometimes it seems like it will last forever! You got a really good picture of the buzzard.

  7. Hope you feel better soon Zaroga. I've had that crud 3 times since Thanksgiving. It just keeps coming back for some reason.
    I love your bird pictures! I'm not very good myself, but better with flowers. I have 3 cameras myself. A Sony, Minolta, and Pansonic Digital.
    I love taking pictures. Have ever since I had my little Kodak Brownie when I was little.
    Take care of yourself!

  8. Hey, girl. Glad you are feeling better and thanks for the info on your camera. Don't know if I can afford all that equipment but I sure would love to be able to take pictures as beautiful as yours. BTW, I like your new banner. Good for Valentine's Day which is just around the corner, isn't it? I usually forget that one. Till later - Sharon

  9. Your bird pictures are really nice. I love the music too! So glad you are feeling better.


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